Notes

“Underneath the increasing militarization of social life over the past half century has grown a subversive sentiment. Contemporary humanity has learned to abhor the military system of war. There are leading exceptions to be sure, but even amongst men especially conditioned to launch city-destroying attacks from remote foreign sites sunk in mountain-bunkers, the organized killing of people in large numbers has become repugnant to human intuition.”

Making War Moral: Beyond Military Terrorism, John McMurtry, Dept. of Philosophy, University of Guelph

The Pearson Peace Medal was presented this year to Nancy Pocock, Coordinator of the Quaker Toronto Monthly Meeting Refugee Committee, life-time peace activist, who,in the 1963 election campaign did everything in her power to defeat Lester Pearson for re-election. He had said that Canada would accept the Bomarc missile.

Previous recipients of the Pearson Medal include George Ignatieff, President of Science for Peace, Lois Wilson of the United Church of Canada and Dr. Meyer Brownstone, Oxfam Canada. The Medal is awarded by the United Nations Association of Canada.

Hillcrest For Peace

Tom Hutchinson spoke and led a discussion following a special showing of the video “The Chernobyl Catastrophe”. The film was made in weeks and months following the fire and showed the eventual burial of the reactor. The filmmaker, himself, died as a result of exposure to radiation.

Discussion revealed the at-home concerns of those in the audience. Prof. Hutchinson ! confirmed . that reports would be forthcoming from international bodies investigating the catastrophe including Ontario Hydro. Reminded by Prof. Hutchinson that there were accidents at Chalk River in the early days of nuclear power, despite the many safety features of Candu reactors, people were clearly in agreement that we are no more intelligent than people in other countries where accidents have occurred.

A major concern was the disposal of nuclear waste. Borrowing from the image of the real Scottish sheep that are now contaminated, Prof .Hutchinson urged his audience not to be passive in accepting this fallout in the form of industrial waste.

-Nicholas Power

“This security policy is based on a cold-war type of thinking that is already outmoded. Instead of taking us forward into the 21st century with strategies for peace, it repeats the kind of militaristic thinking that failed the world so tragically and contributed to the nuclear build-up over the past 30 years.”

— Clark MacDonald

Dismantle Offense

“Politicians, diplomats and those academics professionally occupied with arms. control have been as astonished as the media and the general public at the recent developments in peace and security policy discussions….The member states of the Warsaw Treaty proposed to NATO consultations with the following goal:
to compare the military doctrines of these alliances, to analyze their character, and to mutually discuss their future direction, in order to decrease the mutual distrust and suspicion that has built up over the years, to come to a better understanding of both sides’ intentions, and to see that the military concepts and doctrines of both military blocs and their members are based on defensive principles. The subject of these consultations could also include inequalities and asymmetries which have arisen in particular types of weapons and forces as well as the pursuit of possibilities for their removal, namely, through reductions undertaken by that parry which is ahead in the respective area, with the understanding that these reductions will lead to ever lower force levels.

— Dieter Senghaas, in the December Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

An Open Letter To The Hon. Perrin Beatty:

Science for Peace has been deeply concerned about the plan to acquire and deploy nuclear submarines.

We share the misgivings with many of our scientific colleagues about ships and submarines that have nuclear engines. Such vessels are becoming a permanent part of the seascape but escape the regulation to which such dangerous devices would be subject on land. Should not the question of reactor safety be faced up to?

It seems inevitable that the addition of more nuclear submarines could add considerably to the naval confrontation between East and West unless somehow the Canadian fleet were to operate in a very different way from that of the U.S.

We found no assurance in the White Paper that Canadian naval policy would remain a defensive one. Because of the forward-deployment strategies of the U.S. Navy and the ever-closer ties between Canada and the U.S. forces, it would appear that we would be headed toward provocative strategies? Should Canada follow?

Is the expenditure of billions of dollars over a decade justified at a time when a more flexible and subtle diplomacy toward the USSR is required in a rapidly changing international environment? Surely in this dangerous age the only security policy worth pursuing is one based upon agreements and restraint, which, in Canada’s interests, should include the pursuance of naval arms control for the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans.

— George Ignatieff
— Derek Paul

Professionals And Social Responsibility: Conflict Or Congruence?

A conference with this title is planned, according to program committee chair Kelly Gotlieb, “to bring together groups that are associated with various professional organizations and that attempt to heighten the awareness of their members about ethical and other matters seen to be socially important.”

The conference is sponsored by the Centre for Society, Technology and Values at the University of Waterloo. Dates 16-18 March, 1988 — detailed program and announcements can be expected after the first of the new year.

Preliminary program plans suggest that Ethical Codes for the Professions, Global Peace and Human Rights, and Issues and Agendas for Activist Groups will provide foci for discussion. All the topics are of major concern to members of Science for Peace.

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ISSN 1925-170X (Print) | ISSN 1925-1718 (Online)